I grew up in the Augusta area, living in Waynesboro for as long as I can remember. I went to college in Indianapolis, interned at the Chronicle over summer and Christmas breaks, and landed a job as sports clerk the summer after I graduated. Eventually, the sports job turned into writing for the business section and now I report on local business happenings as well as writing for the Shopgirl column/blog.
Posted June 8, 2011 10:50 am

New store, fresh tunes and outdoor technology


There's a new store in town, and you're not going to find its contents anywhere else in Augusta.

Curvitude Boutique is a new downtown shop that specializes in plus-size clothing, but the accessories inside could fit into anyone's wardrobe. I saw a really cute straw clutch that would be perfect for weddings and outdoor parties this summer.

In a smaller town like Augusta, it's not impossible, and can be pretty frustrating, to see someone across the restaurant or at a party with the exact purse or earrings that you bought just last week at the mall.

Curvitude's owner, Kimberly Townsend, never sells the same item twice, making it less likely that you'll see a random person walking down the street with your new accessory.

In fact, if you mention the Shopgirl column, you can get 15 percent off of your first purchase at Curvitude, located at 923 Broad Street inside Elegant Extensions salon.


There's nothing more awkward than walking into a party where people are just standing around whispering, waiting for the party to happen. Make sure that doesn't happen with your parties this summer by streaming a Pandora station specially mixed for summer get-togethers.

In case you don't already know, Pandora is a completely free internet radio service where you mix your own stations. Sometimes, however, you might not have enough time to sit in front of your computer and "thumbs up" or "thumbs down" selections. Lucky for you, Pandora has stations pre-mixed for parties, from "Mai Tai and Sansabelt Slacks" to "Backyard Party Radio."

To find these stations, go to www.pandora.com/backstage and search under the "stations" tab.

Starbucks is also giving away a really smooth summer playlist with every Frappuccino purchase. With your purchase, the barista will give you a card that has an iTunes code allowing you to download the 10-song playlist for free, ranging from The Fleet Foxes to Matt Nathanson.


More sunshine and warmer temperatures make it hard to stay inside all day long in front of computer screen, but if you take your tech stuff outside make sure it is well protected.

Otterbox cases are the original heavy-duty, waterproof, drop-cushioning armor for cell phones and other handhelds. The cases totally lock out sand, water or any other contaminants from your headphone ports while still allowing you to use your device. You can get the cases starting at $19.95.

If you're going to take your mp3 player outdoors with you, you'll need a good pair of portable speakers. The best ones I've found are the Grace Eco Extreme all-terrain speakers, which actually function as a case as well. The Grace speakers are basically a box with a headphone jack, with room for your keys, cash and credit cards as well. I found these speakers for less than $50 on Amazon.com.

The most difficult part about working on your laptop outside is the glare - if you can't see what is on the screen, you won't get much done.

3M and other companies sell anti-glare screen protectors for laptops that cut down the sun's reflection on your computer screen. On Amazon.com or even at Walmart, you can find these filters for anywhere from $30 to $50.